This weekend after what felt like years, I finally got around to digging out my ice cream machine from the storeroom.
Since the scorching summer is upon us, rather than spending all my time over the weekends in front of an oven that spits out heat at me, I have resolved to making ice creams, frozen yogurts, popsicles and sorbets.
I love mint desserts, everything from peppermint patties, After Eight, Mint Chip ice cream, you get the point. Mint Chocolate Chip is probably my favourite ice cream flavour, with Ben & Jerry’s Half baked coming a close second.
My dalliance with mint chip ice cream started on my annual pilgrimages to the US, when we didn’t have Baskin Robbins in India. I would just eat the ice cream for meals. Thankfully, my palate developed while I was still quite young and moved on to Beyers and the likes. Baskin Robbins now, for me, comes a close second to a dose of icecreamgonebad.
This week, I made mint and chocolate chip ice cream.
I went on a witch hunt to find peppermint extract. It was after hours, it had gotten dark and cold before I decided to call off the search parties.
Little did I know, that a FRESH mint ice cream is even more fabulous than the extract stuff! Its delicious and herbaceous, and you feel really good about using fresh ingredients rather than the chemical essence stuff.
The recipe has been adapted from David Lebovitz’ fresh mint ice cream from his book ‘The perfect scoop’.
Here is what you will need:
- 250 ml full fat milk
- 150 gms caster sugar
- 500 ml heavy cream (Fat content of 30% and above)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 80 gms fresh mint leaves; I chose to remove the stalks, but feel free to keep them on.
- 5 large egg yolks
- 140 gms semi-sweet chocolate
Here’s how to get started:
Pour all of the 250ml full fat milk, along with the sugar and half (250ml) of the heavy cream in a pot and place it on the stove. Add in the mint leaves and stir till the sugar dissolves and all the leaves are submerged in liquid.
Let the milk steam and once its hot, take it off the heat and let it steep with the mint leaves for about an hour. I had a really beautiful green tint in the milk from the mint, however it isn’t necessary, completely depends on the plant.
Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve, press down on the leaves with a spatula to extract as much flavour as possible. Discard the leaves.
Place the milk in a pot, back on the stove and let it get hot. Meanwhile, place the 5 egg yolks in a large bowl and keep your whisk handy. Once the milk is steaming, pour about half of the milk into the eggs and whisk like your life depends on it. Once its well combined add the remaining milk, whisk well and then put the egg and scented milk mixture back on the heat, and cook until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Take the custard off the heat, and strain it through a mesh sieve into the remaining 250ml heavy cream. Stir well. Refrigerate till the mixture is chilled – preferably over night. Next morning, churn as per the ice cream machine’s instructions.
While the ice cream is churning, melt the chocolate over a bain marie. Make sure the bowl that you’re melting the chocolate in is free of any water and moisture or your chocolate will seize.
Once the ice cream is churned, place one third of the frozen custard in a container. Drizzle the melted chocolate over it. Repeat this process three times, till all the custard and the melted chocolate are transferred into the container.
Freeze the ice cream for 6-8 hours and demolish 🙂